AUBURN — A Durham man on Friday denied that he had sex with his dog before placing a trash bag over it and killing it.

Thomas Wentworth, 55, also denied abusing a woman who had been living with him at his Pinkham Brook Road home last winter.

Wentworth pleaded not guilty Friday to charges of animal cruelty, domestic assault, terrorizing and stalking.

Police said Wentworth’s ex-girlfriend witnessed him having sex with the dog, a black Labrador named Missy, one evening in December.

A few days later, Wentworth placed a trash bag around the dog’s head, filled it with ether, and waited an hour for the animal to die, police said.

According to a court document, Wentworth later bragged about the killing and told his ex-girlfriend he could kill her, too, and bury her in the yard near the dog.

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Wentworth has admitted to killing the dog, saying it was blind and suffering from Lyme disease. According to a police affidavit, he had learned the euthanizing technique by watching the History Channel’s “Civil War” series on TV.

Wentworth has denied having sex with the dog before he killed it. He claimed his ex-girlfriend made up the story as revenge for a relationship gone sour.

The ex-girlfriend, however, told investigators from the Androscoggin County Sheriff’s Office that Wentworth had abused her physically and psychologically often since she moved in with him in the early part of 2016.

Wentworth did not allow the 38-year-old woman visitors, according to a police affidavit, and routinely threatened to kill her if she didn’t follow his rules at the ramshackle home that lacked heat and hot water. He also threatened to kill the woman’s ferrets, to smother her while she was having an asthma attack or to cause her to have her 15-year-old daughter taken away from her.

Wentworth, in an interview with police, denied those allegations. His ex-girlfriend suffered a split personality, Wentworth insisted, was mentally unstable and was not credible. He told police that the allegations against him were made because the woman was bitter that Wentworth had not accepted her proposal of marriage.

Wentworth’s ex-girlfriend is a registered sex offender who had been convicted of having sex with a 16-year-old boy, according to the affidavit. She told police that Wentworth often used her legal troubles as leverage against her, on one occasion attempting to make her miss a legal appointment she was required to attend.

After denying the charges Friday, Wentworth was returned to the Androscoggin County Jail in Auburn to await trial.

Thomas Wentworth


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